It is a grim time in the United States and the world abroad. Economies are struggling. Some estimates indicate that unemployment numbers in the US have reached the same level as the Great Depression. Every industry is currently experiencing a downturn because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but few sectors have been hit as hard as oil and gas.
Before the novel coronavirus, US oil and gas producers were already looking at a tough year. A sudden, aggressive move from Saudi Arabia and Russia was designed to destabilize US markets. Just as the nation’s shale and oil producers were working on a strategy to maintain the United States’ thriving energy industry, COVID-19 struck, driving down oil prices and all-but-eliminating demand for oil and gas.
Though headlines seem to focus on the job losses currently rocking the industry, oil and gas has split its time between remaining productive in a hostile market and helping the United States get back on track. Indeed, as hard as it’s been hit, oil and gas is still working feverishly to relieve the suffering of people around the world.
A New Way to Filter
Throughout the world, medical professionals are experiencing dire shortages of the masks needed to fend off the COVID-19 infection. ExxonMobil has responded to this need by redirecting its research energy into a multi-use mask that healthcare professionals can use to keep safe.
Not only is Exxon’s mask reusable, but it reportedly protects the person’s face and nose better than the traditional alternative.
Fueling Emergency Vehicles
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, BP has gone to work within its own country. Company CEO Bernard Looney proclaimed it “vital that we support those on whom we all depend, as well as the most vulnerable in our communities.” The executive backed up those remarks by offering free fuel to emergency service vehicles (including air rescue helicopters) throughout the United Kingdom.
BP has also donated $2 million to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Empowering the Food Bank
In a time when people are struggling to find food for their families, even local oil and gas organizations are lending a hand. On Thursday, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association donated $50,000 to food banks throughout the state.
The executive director of NMOGA, Ryan Fynn, explained, “It’s important for all of us to step up and do our part during these difficult and challenging times. For most New Mexicans, that simply means staying home and staying safe, but it also means making the most of our available resources to support those in need.”